The Programme

(Last update: Jan 6th, 2020)

(Last update: Jan 6th, 2020)
The sixteen artists invited to the Monheim Triennale 2020 are developing special programmes and exclusive projects in which they can be seen several times during the festival, appearing in the most diverse constellations. In this way, a festival programme will be developed to present groundbreaking relationships between current improvised, composed and popular music, at eye-level, and in an equal, collaborative setting. You can gather initial insights here. The complete programme, with the exact dates and times, will be published on March 2nd, 2020.

Sam Amidon, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sam Amidon

Folk Songs

Sam Amidon_voc, git, bjo
& EOS Chamber Orchestra

Returning to his roots in Vermont and recalling his Appalachian travels, Sam Amidon
will perform distinctive reworkings of traditional American songs - murder ballads, mountain songs and folk hymns - accompanied by a chamber orchestra playing the beautiful and celebrated orchestral arrangements of composer Nico Muhly.

The Following Mountain

Sam Amidon_voc, git, bjo, vl
Stian Westerhus_git
Kris Davis_p
Robert Landfermann_b
Greg Fox_dr

Based on Sam Amidon's 2017 album of the same name, this festival-specific convening of Triennale musicians fuses Amidon's folk-based songwriting and original composition with expansive improvisation, merging ancient Kentucky melodies with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry-inspired textures.

Lakecia Benjamin, Photo: Elizabeth Leitzell

Lakecia Benjamin

Soul Shakedown

Lakecia Benjamin_sax
Melodie Nicholson_voc
Devone Allison_keyb
Shelley Spruill_b
Eric Brown_dr
& Special Guests

Ready to join the party? This crew will make you sweat, bringing a super high energy, fun, danceable and grooving show to Monheim, mixing it all up - funk, soul, hip hop and jazz.

Pan Daijing, Photo: Nadine Fraczkowski

Pan Daijing

Untitled, 2020

Continuing with her experimental storytelling through sound and performance, Pan Daijing will present a site-specific composition at Monheim Triennale.

Kris Davis, Photo: Mimi Chakarova

Kris Davis


Kris Davis_p
Mimi Chakarova_film
Ingrid Laubrock_sax
& festival Artists

A brand new collaboration between Kris Davis and Bulgarian filmmaker Mimi Chakarova on a special project - a 45 minute silent film dedicated to social justice, set to music by Kris Davis, and played by artists from the festival programme.

Kris Davis & Ingrid Laubrock

Kris Davis_p
Ingrid Laubrock_sax
Having collaborated together on many different projects over the years, these exceptional New York-based musicians have played together since 2013, releasing their first duo album in 2019, featuring compositions from both players. A sensitive interplay and instinct for risk-taking exploration in an ultra-modern jazz context allows their compositions to develop with a complete openness.

Greg Fox, Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Greg Fox


Greg Fox_dr
Angel Deradoorian_fl, voc
Michael Beharie_git
Justin Frye_b

Expanding Greg Fox‘s solo work on his electroacoustic setup to a live quartet with traditional jazz instruments, this band will take you on a journey through sound, interweaving high energy rhythms with dreamlike soundwaves.

Black Sabbath Cover Band Rehearsal

Greg Fox_dr
Angel Deradoorian_voc
Nick Zinner_git
Mick Barr_git
Brad Truax_b

Having it raw and dirty Greg Fox is paying tribute to his own metal roots, honouring the legendary Birmingham heavy rock band, with a crew of great musicians, playing their European premiere.

Shabaka Hutchings, Photo: Yvonne Schmedemann

Shabaka Hutchings

Ensemble for Upliftment and Spiritual Unity

Shabaka Hutchings_comp, sax, cl
Siyabonga Mthembu_voc
Mthunzi Mvubu_sax
Theon Cross_tuba
Ariel Zamonsky_b
Gontse Makhene_perc
Eddie Hick_dr
Tumi Mogorosi_dr
Tom Skinner_dr
& EOS Chamber Orchestra

Combine his three groups, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Sons of Kemet, and The Comet Is Coming, then expand further with a chamber orchestra. The dream project of Shabaka Hutchings will be a world premiere, his cosmic creativity exploding into a full firework display.

Shabaka Hutchings & Kris Davis

Shabaka Hutchings_sax
Kris Davis_p

A coming together of old-and-new-world, black-and-white, male-and-female, saxophone-and-piano, in the most intimate constellation our music can provide.

Sofia Jernberg, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Sofia Jernberg

The Dreams Of Our Future

Sofia Jernberg_comp, voc
Ariadne Greif_voc
Eivind Lønning_tp
Mette Rasmussen_sax
Mats Gustafsson_bar
Eva Lindal_vl
Anna Lindal_vl
Cory Smythe_p
Ole Morten Vågan_b
Raymond Strid_dr
and mixed children choir

A brand new project by Sofia Jernberg pouring children’s dreams into lyrics, and having them sing these songs together as a choir, with music played by a who’s who of the Scandinavian improvisation scene - commissioned by Monheim Triennale and Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, with support from Arts Council Norway.

Four አራት

Sofia Jernberg_voc
Samuel Yirga_p
Ole Morten Vågan_b
Andreas Werliin_dr

Both growing up in Ethiopia, but moving in different genres, rising star of Ethio-Jazz Samuel Yirga meets vocal technique virtuoso Sofia Jernberg, in their first encounter.

Robert Landfermann, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Robert Landfermann


Robert Landfermann_comp, b
Sebastian Gille_sax
Percy Pursglove_tp
Elias Stemeseder_p
Jozef Dumoulin_rhodes
Kathrin Pechlof_harp
Jonas Burgwinkel_dr
Christian Lillinger_dr

Assembling this band exclusively for the Monheim Triennale, Robert Landfermann integrates some of Europe’s best improvisers in a tribute to his birthplace along the Rhine River.

Ava Mendoza, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Ava Mendoza

Unnatural Ways

Ava Mendoza_git
Tim Dahl_b
Sam Ospovat_dr

Having developed a deeply personal sound, raw and heavy, this Brooklyn trio pushes the boundaries of written music, producing powerful and unpredictable live shows, drawing from their backgrounds in noise-rock, free jazz and metal.

Ava Mendoza & Tatsuya Yoshida

Ava Mendoza_git
Tatsuya Yoshida_dr

A member of the renowned progressive rock duo Ruins, and undoubtedly one of the most important drummers to come out of the Japanese avant-rock scene, Tatsuya Yoshida has been invited by New York City guitar-immolator Ava Mendoza for their first ever encounter on stage.

Marcus Schmickler, Photo: Albrecht Fuchs

Marcus Schmickler

Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft

Marcus Schmickler_comp

The Monheim Triennale will open on July 1st 2020 with a commissioned composition by Marcus Schmickler. The composer will stage an open air concert on both sides of the Rhine, exploring the relationship between the near and the far, in music, text and performance. "I am interested in the protagonist’s relationship to money, power, love, humanity and ecology, comparable to classical fabrics such as „Faust“ or „Der Ring des Nibelungen“. On the eve of the first edition of the Monheim Triennale, thematic aspects of the entire festival will be prepared in my design of „Entwurf einer Rheinlandschaft“ (Draft of a Rhine River Landscape) and asked as questions to the festival and the citizens of the city.“

Lehn/Schmickler meet Corsano

Marcus Schmickler_computer
Thomas Lehn_synth
Chris Corsano_dr

In this world premiere, the pioneering synthesiser-improvisation duo of Lehn/Schmickler meets New York-based Chris Corsano, combining analogue and digital sound generators with acoustic drums.

Phillip Sollmann, Photo: Lendita Kashtanjeva

Phillip Sollmann

Modular Organ System

Sound Installation by Phillip Sollmann & Konrad Sprenger

In 2017, the Berlin musicians and artists Phillip Sollmann and Konrad Sprenger began developing their Modular Organ System. As an expansive sculpture and sound installation, it provides an environment that visitors can explore independently. All functional parts of the instrument are visible and can be grasped in their spatial dimensions and pictorial qualities. The Modular Organ System remains in operation for the entire duration of the Triennale, while it alternates between installative and concertante states.

Gegen die Zeit II

Phillip Sollmann_string instruments and live electronic
John Gürtler_blaswandler and live electronic

The Berlin duo Sollmann & Gürtler plays music characterised by implosions and decay. Wind converters, string instruments and live electronics are deployed. In Monheim, they will modulate each other with a feedback system.

Terre Thaemlitz, Photo: Ruthie Singer-Decapite

Terre Thaemlitz

The Laurence Rassel Show

In 2006, Laurence Rassel and Terre Thaemlitz were commissioned by a German public radio station to produce an electroacoustic radio drama about feminist anonymity, transgendered authorship... and murder. Cancelled due to content issues, Rassel and Thaemlitz self-released the project and have since continued their public conversations in increasingly undocumented and offline settings.

DJ Sprinkles

DJ Sprinkles is the deep house DJ persona of Terre Thaemlitz. Sprinkles is unconcerned with mass appeal, and focuses on sniper-sets aimed at a long gone generation of angry and depressed queer HIV/AIDS activists, unafraid to cry on the dancefloor.

Terre Thaemlitz Ambient DJ Set

In addition to her DJ Sprinkles persona, back in 1993 Terre Thaemlitz frequently DJ-ed at New York's first regular all-ambient party, Electric Lounge Machine. In lieu of her usual long-form audio-video and piano performances at European festivals, Thaemlitz will give a rare ambient DJ performance.

Julia Úlehla, Photo: Santiago de Hoyos

Julia Úlehla


Julia Úlehla_voc
Aram Bajakian_git
Josh Zubot_vl
Peggy Lee_cello
Dylan van der Schyff_dr
James Meger_b
Tyson Naylor_acc, keyb

Paying homage to 100-year-old folksongs from Moravia that were written down by Julia Úlehla’s great-grandfather, this group of Vancouver-based improvisors develop their own incredibly intense, touching, stirring, gripping, progressive jazz and post-rock versions of his songs.

Stian Westerhus, Photo: Frank Schemmann

Stian Westerhus

Stian Westerhus & Fennesz

Stian Westerhus_git
Fennesz_git, elec

Imagine a meeting between these two masters of advanced sound creation – in this world premiere, it happens: Fennesz, a key figure in the electronic world, using guitar and laptop to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality meets Norwegian guitarist Stian Westerhus, who uses his guitar to unleash feedback manipulations and seared amplifier flare-ups, creating a floating, almost sacral sound.